Tuesday, September 17, 2019


We are in our second year now of keeping chickens, it was never about having a huge flock of chickens to get masses of eggs, it was really so I could have some pets. So we already had an incubator as we use to breed and hatch quail so we bought some Silkie chicken eggs. Unfortunately due to power cuts this messed the incubation up a bit, and we didn't think any would hatch, we were surprised and relieved when 2 hatched.

We named them even though we didn't know what sex they were.

I named this one Charlie or Charley, thinking the name would suit if it was a boy or girl. Luckily it was a she, so Charley she was.

A day later another fluffy chick arrived, my husband named it Chuck a male name, but Chuck turned out to be a hen, but we have kept the name. I am pretty sure she couldn't care less.

So Charley and Chuck grew up together and were insperarable.

We decided we would like a couple more so instead of hatching ourselves bought a couple from a place which specialises in Silkies.

Our son named the white one Daisy and I named the other Doris.

So things were going well, Charley and Chuck were buddies and Doris and Daisy stuck together, but they would still all socialise together.

Now as any chicken keeper will know there is a pecking order.

Charley on the left was head hen she was in charge.

Charley was a little angel she had a really special bond with me, before we fenced off half of the garden for the four girls, she would come pecking on the kitchen patio doors to get my attention, she used to chatter away to me and alway rushed over to see me.
You notice I put "was". Charley was a big girl and it wasn't until she was over a year old before she started laying, and then the trouble began, she very quickly developed a vent prolapse, basically her insides were coming out, we looked into treating it and did all we could to try to cure it/stop it from getting worse. We separted her from the others for her own safety as Daisy started attacking her, this is what happens when one is generally unwell. This was the start of Daisies nasty streak. (More about that later).

Despite all of our efforts and we did try so hard, it just wasn't happening, she was getting really bad and she was unhappy. I decided enough was enough, wrapped her up and held her on my lap whilst my husband drove us up to the vets just up the road, the vet agreed it was the right thing to do, so she was put to sleep.
Boy was I upset, I still get upset now thinking about it, she was just so adorable.

My sweet Charley......

RIP my little angel. x

It was really heartbreaking, on the evening of that sad day, Chuck wouldn't go into roost, she was out looking around the garden for her pal. I had to put her in the box myself.

So after time all settled down again and Chuck (on the left) was now head girl.

Last week we had thee girls now only two, as I took the decision to rehome Daisy.

She had it in big time for Doris, and had become a right little madam since Charley was ill. Poor Doris kept being attacked all the time by Daisy, and I had two choices let them sort it out, or sort it out myself.

Doris is nervous anyway so didn't fight back and Daisy was jumping on her back all the time and attacking her head, and pulling her feathers out, if left I think she would have killed her. 

I suppose like people you get the nice ones then the ones with a nasty streak.

She has been rehomed with an experienced Silkie owner. 
Even though she was a little madam I did love her as I do all my pets.
Sad to see her go but for the best.

Now it is just Doris and Chuck.

Chuck even though she is head hen has a lovely nature, and they are both happy together, actually when Daisy attacked Doris, Chuck would try and step in to protect Doris.

Here they are enjoying some pomegranite which they absolutely love.

Doris is so much happier now.
Bless her.

The other pets we have are our aviary birds.

We had quite a few but due to my husband becoming more sensitive and allergic to the feather dander/feather dust we have had to get rid of most and now only keep 3 breeding pairs of Turquoisine Parakeets.

Here are a few photos of some of them.

This is one of the babies from this year.

Lovely to have pets in our lives, even though there are sad times.


  1. All the Silkies I have ever had have turned out nasty in the end, that's what put me off them completely. Pekin bantams are much more laid back and friendly, and the boys make wonderful caring fathers and defenders of the flock even though they are small.

    We are down to just 7 birds now, one cockerel, one chick and 5 ladies ... all in retirement apart from the odd surprise egg.

    There are always sad times when we have pets, I guess that's the price to pay for the love and fun they give us.

    1. Hi Sue, we went for Silkies because we didn't want the bigger chickens which would ruin the garden (as it's not ours) + they don't fly. Doris and Chuck will get on fine they always have done, and Charley was lovely it was just Daisy. We live and learn as the saying goes.
      Will you be selling your birds when the time comes to downsize?

  2. Oh Marlene they are truly beautiful creatures, you've done so well breeding them. The downside of having pets is there is a good chance they will pass away before you, leaving such a sense of loss. I was inconsolable when I lost my Jack Russel Harry of 16.5 years. But it wont stop me taking the plunge again. I will have a dog again one day, their loyalty, love and adoration is priceless.

    1. Hi Tania, we had a dog before we moved.
      Sadly that ended tragically.
      A dog will make a lovely companion for you. xx

  3. Marlene, the birds are beautiful, especially the lovely fluffy silkies. Sorry about Charley and Daisy, both losses were clearly upsetting, though for different reasons. Pets give us so much love and joy, but our hearts get broken in the end. Still worth it though....my gorgeous Betty is the light of my life. xx

    1. Hi Sue, yes worth the pain, we do are best to give them a good life don't we and they love unconditional.
      Yes I know how much you adore your beautiufl Betty. xx

  4. I agree, it's lovely to have pets. Yours are adorable - even though I know zilch about keeping chickens! We've got a cat and 2 rabbits. I took the rabbits in when they needed a home about 18mths ago. They're lovely but like your husband, I think I'm a bit allergic as the dust from the hay & straw and too much fur makes me wheeze! My husband has given me a mask.

    1. Sounds like an allergy to me, I use straw in the nest boxes and a dust free bedding in the rest of the coop luckily I haven't had any problems, I know I would with the parakeets as we had this problem when we kept them before.

  5. Oh they are so cute.
    I'm so sorry about Charlie. But I think you did the best.

    1. Hi Nil, yes it was for the best, I couldn't bear to see her suffer anymore, we buried her here at home under the butterfly bush.

  6. It's always so heartbreaking when we loose a pet whether it'd the feathered or furry kind. DH was even more heartbroken than me when we had to have our dog put down. He was retired and I was still working so they were best buddies. He's been adamant that he will not go through that again but I think he's weakening a little!

    1. Hi Janice it's so hard isn't it, I think we all say no more pets, but when you see those sweet little faces we soon give in.

  7. What a sad story. Sometimes we have to be so strong to make the worst decisions we would rather not face. At least she is at peace, and you know where she is.

    1. It really was so hard Deborah, she is up under one of the big Buddleia's and there is a seat up that end of the garden, and I often think of her when I am sat up there, she really was special to me.